Friday, July 16, 2010

Jet City

While it is frequently Microsoft that keeps Seattle in the public eye today, it is worth remembering that aircraft are at the foundation of Seattle. This is the city that Boeing built (called "The Boeing Company" by those who work there). Known as Jet City in the trucking world, there is a motel near the airport which commemorates that name.

There are daily reminders here of this airborne heritage:
  • The Boeing 787, aka the Dreamliner, is frequently seen in the Seattle skies as she undergoes flight testing. This is the world's first carbon fiber commercial aircraft, and it has to be the most graceful man-made thing in the sky. Hopefully you'll get to see one too, soon.
  • There is a WWII era B-25 which still flies the area, offering rides to those willing to put up $400 for 30 minutes in the same kind of plane that made the 1942 Doolittle raid on Tokyo.
  • But my money (if I had it) would go for a ride in the Boeing B-17, also available for rides. Sporting 4 huge slow-turning radial engines, the sound this plane makes in flight is like nothing you've ever heard (unless you're old enough to, well, remember). You can hear it coming for miles. And when it thunders overhead, you'll understand why it acquired the appellation "Aluminum Overcast".
  • The second largest Experimental Aircraft gathering (after Oshkosh, Wisconsin) is held at Arlington airport, just north of Seattle. Attending the Arlington EAA fly-in is one of my bucket-list items.
  • And Sunday evening, the inspiration for this post, a flight (swarm?) of 10-12 Rutan VariEze's passed over our anchorage here in Eagle Harbor. I have never seen this many of them in one place, at one time. Come to think of it, I have never seen that many of *any* kind of aircraft in flight together before. It was impressive.
And, tying this back (sort of) to the theme of this blog, have you ever noticed the strong correlation between aircraft pilots and sailing?

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...